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of God over all his works. The subjection of contemplated, admired, and adored. the animals, had not sin entered, would doubt-formed capable of perceiving that manifested less have been far more entire and voluntary, glory, of rendering the tribute of vocal praise, and the exercise of man's authority far more and of finding felicity in his Maker's worship benign and gentle, than they are at present. and love: this was well pleasing to the Lord, For man is now, too generally, a severe tyrant who was most perfectly satisfied with his work, over the animais, which are within his reach "while the morning-stars sang together, and and under his power; and many creatures seem all the sons of God shouted for joy.' "" Thus the to have shaken off, or fled from, his abused do- creation of the heaven and the earth was comminion. pleted in six days, which doubtless the Creator could have effected in an instant; but he deemed it more suited to his majesty and wisdom to do it gradually, and by progressive advances; that we, leisurely contemplating these wonders, might note more carefully the glories displayed in them; and, seeing each majestically rise superior to all that went before, might be more suitably affected with admiring gratitude, and excited to adoring praise.

V. 28. It appears from this verse, that both the man and the woman were created on the sixth day; and that the subsequent account is only a more circumstantial recapitulation of the interesting event.-The beneficent Creator, having formed them with capacities for enjoyment, and furnished them with all things externally conducive to it, assured them of his favor and blessing, to consummate their felicity and secure its continuance: and it is probable Adam was taught to expect, that, after a term of probation upon earth, he and his descendants, if they persevered in obedience, would be translated into heaven, or favored with some confirmation in happiness equivalent to it. The increase of the human species formed a part of the Creator's benediction; and, had not sin entered, it would have been a progressive communication and multiplication of endless felicity. In this method creation is still carried on, and the divine perfections are exercised and displayed in the continuance, as well as in the first production, of the creatures; though the former excites little surprise, because custom leads us to expect it.

V. 29, 30. Our wants and inclinations give us no right to use the creatures of God, however suitable they may be to supply and grati- || fy them: the grant of the great Proprietor alone confers it. In this grant the animals are joined, as equally entitled to provision from the Creator's bounty.-Animal food seems not to have been generally allowed, till after the flood, or to have been desired or thought of before the fall. But it is not certain, either that no part of the sacrifices offered after that event were eaten, or that a rebellious race did not take the liberty of using animal food, before it was granted them.


The account given us in this chapter, of the Author and Original of all things, is so rational, satisfactory, and sublime; and the visible creation, as it subsists at this day, displays such wise contrivance, powerful operation, and beneficent attention to the wan, and welfare of all creatures; that atheists, and all others who, with the Bible in their hands, and the creation before their eyes, "honor not the Creator as God, neither are thankful," must be for ever left without excuse: and infidelity and impiety must at length manifestly appear to be as absurd and foolish, as they are wicked.-The Creator of all things is, without controversy, the sole Proprietor and sovereign Lord of all. Our very bodies and souls are his, and not our own; for "he made us, and not we ourselves." He has therefore an undoubted right to dispose of us, and of all creatures, as he pleases. To him an account must be rendered of the use which we make of all his gifts: nor should we ever allow ourselves to lose sight of this important truth; which is suited, not only to restrain us from abusing the work and gift of God in the practice of sin, but also to quicken us in employing all that we possess and enjoy, in the service of our liberal Benefactor. We should V. 31. Fery good.] Each production of also accustom ourselves, to contemplate his creative power had before been pronounced glory in every object which we behold, and to good:-but after man's creation, the whole was taste his bounty in all our comforts and enjoydeclared to be very good. A superior excel-ments. As our obligations are so vast, his larglency, from an harmonious connexion of perfect parts in one perfect whole, was produced by each part deriving beauty from, and reflecting beauty upon the rest: and the creation of man, the image and vicegerent of his Maker, the only worshipper in this angust temple, who in reasonable adoration might render him the glory of the whole, completed the design, and stamped it "very good."-The perfections of God are worthy of being exercised, displayed, VOL. I. 5

est demands of love, worship, and service, are perfectly reasonable: yet, tried by this plain rule, our own hearts must certainly condemn our past and present conduct.-In our own pri vate history, as well as in that of the world through every age, we may read what havoc sin has made in the creation of God, once by infallible wisdom pronounced "very good;" especially in man, created in his own image and likeness! Let us then bless his name for the


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Gospel of Christ; and take warning from the whole human race, as much as the nation of consideration of the almighty power of that Israel. This is confirmed by the custom of God against whom we have sinned, (the stu- measuring time by weeks, which has generally pendous effects of which we have been contem- prevailed in the world; and which is most reaplating,) to "flee from the wrath to come," and sonably accounted for, by supposing it to have to seek reconciliation to him, that his powerful arisen from an original tradition, handed down arm may be employed for our salvation, and from Adam and Noah to all their posterity. not for our destruction. And what deliver- And the silence of Moses concerning the obances, supports, and consolations may we not servation of the sabbath by the patriarchs, so expect, in our greatest distresses and perils, far from proving that they were not command from the most powerful enemies; if the omnipo-ed to observe it, will not render it so much as tent Creator be our Father and our Friend? probable that they did not actually keep it, to Being thus rendered victorious over all our those who attentively consider how much darkenemies, and new created unto the image of ness rests upon many similar subjects, in the God in holiness; we shall at length obtain ad- scriptural history of the Church. Yet some mission into the "new heavens and new earth, intimations are given in this book, which shew wherein dwelleth righteousness." that the patriarchs divided time into weeks, and regarded the seventh day. (Notes, 8:6-14. 29: 27.)-The "sabbath, being made for man," was no doubt coeval with his creation.-Even in the state of innocence, Adam and Eve were employed in dressing and keeping the garden: and though exempt from sin and suffering, yet their rational nature was capable of a far more exalted state; and they were taught to consider themselves as preparing for it by progressive improvement. The seventh day therefore, being blessed and sanctified by God, separated from common employments, and consecrated to religious worship; on it especially they were required to remember their Creator, to contemplate his works, and to render him their tribute of thankful praise; and this would, even in Paradise, be conducive to the glory of God, and beneficial to them; perhaps absolutely necessary to their safety and felicity. (Notes, Ex. 16:22-27. 20:8—11.)

CHAP. II. V. 1. Host.] All the parts of the visible creation occupy their proper places, like soldiers in a well-disciplined host, or army: so that number and variety connect with regularity and beauty, and conduce to the perfection of the whole. (M. R.)-The sacred historian, having given a brief account of the orderly production of all things, explains in this chapter some particulars more fully, which would otherwise have interrupted the order of

his narration.

V. 2. The Lord was pleased to complete his design, just when the sixth day ended and the seventh commenced; and then he rested from all his work: not that the exertion of creating po ver had caused weariness, or that his rest was inactivity; for he still upholds, preserves, renovates, and governs the whole; in which sense Christ says, "The Father worketh hitherto, and I work." But he ceased from creating, and added no more; and he rejoiced with perfect satisfaction in the whole, as worthy of himself and manifesting his glory.

V. 3. The sacred writer here both records the appointment of the sabbath, and assigns the reason for it: "Because that in it the LORD rested from all his work." This is evidently historical, and not by anticipation: for the reason subsisted from the beginning; and was more cogent immediately, than it could be at a distance of more than two thousand years, when the command was solemnly renewed from Mount Sinai, long after sin had marred the beauty of the great Creator's works: and it concerns the

V. 4. This is the real and true account of the origin of the heavens and the earth; and may therefore be opposed to the fables of poets, and the fancies of speculating philosophers.The word JEHOVAH, the peculiar name of the living God, is here first used. It seems to mean Self-existence, underived, independent, and immutable. (Note, Ex. 3:14.)

V. 5, 6. In general, God employs the genial warmth of the sun and the refreshing rains, and also the labor of man, in producing the fruits of the earth: but he needs them not; and therefore these first productions, (which doubtless were in full perfection,) were prepared before the sun was created, before the rain descended, or man was formed; but from the time that the vegetables

the dust of the ground, and breathed [ into his nostrils the breath of life: and man became a living soul.

8 T And the LORD God planted "a garden eastward in Eden: and there he put the man whom he had formed.

9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food: P the Tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the Tree of knowledge of good and evil. 10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.

11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;

12 And the gold of that land is good: there is tbdellium and "the onyx-stone.

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were produced, a mist arose from the earth, and or misery; in which things his most interesting fell in gentle dews for their refreshment and knowledge consisted. By abstaining from this preservation. It is God's immediate work to fruit the knowledge of good would be enjoyed; 'communicate the first principles of things, but but by eating of it the knowledge of evil would "their growth is promoted by the instrumentality be fatally introduced. It might also intimate "of man.' Fuller. Thus regeneration is immedi- that man should set boundaries to his thirst for ately the work of God; but in progressive sanc-knowledge; and covet rather to know and obey tification man is willing and active.

the commands of God, than to pry into unreV. 7. The Creator's skill was manifested, in vealed secrets. To these meanings Satan artfulforming so exquisite a structure as the humanly superadded his pernicious misinterpretation, body, of so mean materials. Yet the Lord not which will shortly require our attention.-This only gave man life in common with the other garden was situated eastward of Canaan, or of animals, which had bodies formed of the same the wilderness where Moses wrote the history. dust; but immediately communicated from him--Adam and Eve seem to have been created self the rational soul, here denoted by "breath- without the garden, and to have been aftering into his nostrils the breath of life." Thus wards brought into it. "the first Adam became a living soul:" but man by the fall having become dead in sin; in infinite mercy, "the second Adam, the Lord from heaven," became "a quickening spirit,” and, by the communication of the Holy Spirit, he restores divine life and renews the divine image. It is remarkable that Jesus, after his resurrection, (with apparent reference to this expression,) "breathed upon his disciples, and said, Receive ye the Holy Ghost."

V. 8, 9. This garden, planned doubtless with exquisite beauty, and stored with every thing which could regale the senses, seems to have been intended as a pledge of heavenly felicity. -The word paradise, (which the Septuagint use in this place for garden,) in allusion to Eden, is in some instances used for heaven itself, and there are many references to it in scripture. (Luke 23:43. 2 Cor. 12:4.) "The Tree of Life" seems also to have been a sacramental pledge of immortality; and, by eating the fruit of it, life and felicity were sealed to Adam, as long as he continued obedient. "The Tree of knowledge" might be thus called, because that, by the prohibition of its fruit, a revelation was made to Adam of his Creator's will; of his own duty, interest, situation, and danger; of the consequences of his future conduct; and of the prescribed condition of life or death, happiness


V. 10-14. From the well-known names of the Hiddekel or Tigris, and the Euphrates, we determine that the garden of Eden was situated in or near Mesopotamia; and some learned men have supposed that almost the precise spot may be ascertained; but this is doubtful. It is supposed, that the Tigris and Euphrates met and united their streams at the garden of Eden, and that below it, the river parted again into two streams, called Pison and Gihon; and that all these are called heads. It is manifest, that Moses intended to give an intelligible description of the situation of Eden to his countrymen; who might doubtless, by attending to the several particulars here mentioned, find the precise spot, though we cannot: and notwithstanding the subsequent convulsions during the deluge, which must have greatly changed the face of the country; it is evident that the Tigris and Euphrates continued nearly the same course after that catastrophe as before.

V. 16, 17. Man, created in the image of God, doubtless had the moral law written in his heart as the law of his holy nature; and was both bound and inclined to that love of God and his creatures, which constitutes its substance and fulfilment. But the prohibition, here imposed, was an additional instituted test of obedience; and, being accompanied with the liberal allowance

18 T And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone: 'I will make him an help meet for him.

19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever + Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

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21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

22 And the rib which the LORD God had taken from man made he a woman, and 'brought her unto the man. m bone

23 And Adam said, This is now of my bone, "and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called "Woman, because she was taken out of ¶ Man.

24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall P cleave

k 15:12. 1 Sam. 26:12. Dan. 8: n 24.

Heb. builded. 1 Tim. 2:13.

19. Prov. 18:22. 19:14. Heb.

m 29:14. Judg. 9:2. 2 Sam. 5:1.
19:13. Eph. 5:30.

Heb. Isha. 1 Cor. 11:8,9.
Heb. Ish.

o Ps. 45:10.


Deut. 4:4. 10:20. Josh. 23.3. Acts 11:23.

which precedes it, formed a proper trial of his nor of faith; for the same approbation is due to love, and of the submission of his inclinations an equal or an enemy: but it becomes us, and to the will of his beneficent Benefactor. It is honorable to God, when we adore the depths likewise intimated to him, that the favor of God, which we cannot fathom, and believe that while and not animal gratification, was the proper "clouds and darkness are round about him, felicity of his nature; and taught him not to righteousness and judgment are the basis of consider himself at the summit of his happiness, his throne." Could we divest ourselves of parin a state where self-denial was required.-The tiality, we might discern in some degree the annexed denunciation, "thou shalt surely die," reasonableness of the prohibition; the peculiar or, dying thou shalt die, evidently implied, that meetness of Adam, as the common father of the by transgression he would totally forfeit his human race, to be their representative; and the Maker's favor, and incur his displeasure with divine goodness in selecting, as the condition all its awful effects; that immediately he would of this covenant, so easy a test of obedience, become liable to pain and disease, which, as a and in making the implied stipulation, that if tedious execution, would not cease but in the he did not eat he should not die. Many things dissolution of the body; that he would lose the have been copiously and plausibly argued upon holy image of God and the comfort of his favor; these topics: but it is readily granted, that great and that he would experience the torment of difficulties remain; and that they, who will give sinful passions and the terror of his Creator's their Creator credit for justice and goodness, vengeance, which, according to this covenant, no farther than they can perceive them, must must endure coeval with the existence of his stumble at this stumbling stone, after all that immortal soul. The event shews that all this can be done to remove it. Man's mortality was implied: for the just and holy God would and depravity, as well as universal history, not subsequently inflict more than he had pre-coincide with, and confirm, the scriptural acviously denounced to Adam and Eve. The count of this transaction; and, as collateral same evidence proves, that the whole human evidences, prove that it is the "testimony of race, then in the loins of their common father, God," and that we do not mistake its meaning: and represented by him as their federal head, on this ground faith receives it; and humbled were interested in the transaction. To argue reason submits to her Teacher, God, and allows against this, is to combat stubborn facts, as his righteousness, though she cannot fully comwell as divine revelation; unless some more prehend it. satisfactory account of the present condition and character of man can be assigned, but which has never yet been done. For man is evidently a sinful creature, and shews his natural propensities by his first actions and continual conduct; he is under undeniable tokens of divine displeasure, and exposed to sufferings and death; a dark cloud, impenetrable except by the light of revelation, rests upon his state beyond the grave; the Scriptures always address him as in this miserable situation, and as bearing this sinful character; and these things have been universally verified in all ages and nations. If men find fault with that which God has evidently done, let them answer it to him. He deigns not to apologize for his own conduct; and, with our dark and imperfect views, we shall be deemed too officious, if we attempt it. "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" seems the proper answer to objectors; and to wait for a world of clearer light is our proper behavior. To allow the wisdom, justice, and goodness of the divine conduct, only when we can perceive them, savors neither of humility

V. 18. It was not conducive to the happiness of man, to remain without the solace of society, and the endearment of tender friendship; nor consistent with the end of his creation to be without marriage, by which the earth might be replenished, and worshippers and servants of God continually raised up to render him praise and glory.

V. 19, 20. Adam seems to have been vastly better acquainted, by intuition or immediate revelation, with the distinct properties of every creature, than the most sagacious observers, since the fall, have been by study. When, therefore, God brought the several species before him, he gave them names expressive of their distinct natures or exterior forms. This was also a token of his dominion over them.Yet, upon this review, not one was found in outward form his counterpart, (as the animals were created male and female;) nor one suited to engage his affections, participate in his enjoyments, or associate with him in the worship of God.

V. 21-23. Adam, being supernaturally cast

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mto a deep sleep, without consciousness or pain, with honor and respect; as a friend, as naturalthe Lord took from that part of his body which 'ly an equal, a soother of man's cares, a softener was near the heart, the substance of which he 'of his grief, and a partner of his joys.' Fuller formed the woman; who was to be as part of V. 25. The human body, the most noble pro himself, and the object of his most cordial affec- duction in the material creation, would not tions. She was taken from him, and not out of have required concealment, had not sin disthe ground; that there might be a natural foun- graced the Creator's work: and probably shame dation of moderate subordination on the wom- would never have been excited, in the manner an's part, and sympathizing tenderness on the in which it has been ever since, had not the man's; as a man rules over, yet carefully de- sinful nature been communicated with the prop fends and tenderly takes care of, his own body.agation of the human species. The Lord then conducted her as his gift to Adam, that they might be united in marriage for their mutual good; and that he might thus authorize, and give an example for the regulation of, future marriages. Doubtless he made known to Adam, perhaps during his sleep, in what manner the woman had been created from a part of himself, to be his companion.-The original word translated woman, is the same as is rendered man, excepting the feminine termination: it imports that she was exactly his counterpart, taken from him, united to him,|| and like him in every thing but sex; and it expressed his satisfaction in his Creator's gift, and his thankful acceptance of it.

V. 1-15.

ness and with entire satisfaction; and our sabbaths should be earnests of that blessedness, and a preparation for it. Indeed, God gives every thing to labor, which was needful in innocence and in paradise; because true excel

As God himself contemplated his whole work with cordial approbation, and rested in it with entire complacency; it must be great presump tion for us to find fault with any part of it. We are indeed capable of perceiving the wisdom and goodness of God, in many of the constituent parts of the vast creation, and of rendering to him the tribute of adoring praise; but it is most daring pride, to suppose ourselves competent to understand the whole.-The only wise God instituted the Sabbath in Paradise before the en trance of sin; and thus he has shewn, not only V. 24. According to the original institution the advantage, but the absolute necessity, of of marriage, the nearest of all relations and the time set apart for his immediate service, as the proper source of all the rest, men in every sub-world now is; if we would pay any suitable resequent age would leave the immediate society gard to religion, or to the salvation of our imeven of their parents, to lay the foundation of mortal souls. How diligently then should we new families; and thenceforth all other relative sinners keep holy the Christian Sabbath; and affections and duties must be regulated, in sub-take care that our children and domestics have ordination to the affections and duties of that leisure and opportunity, and make use of them, new relation. Thus one man and one woman are for the same salutary purposes! But the rest to so closely united as to become "one flesh:" so be observed is not indolent repose. The rest of that, according to the original institution, noth-heaven consists in serving God without weariing can separate them, but that which dissolves the union of soul and body, and even divides the component parts of the body from each other. This seems to be the remark of Moses rather than of Adam; but certainly it was the word of God, speaking by one of them. Neither polyglence and happiness consist in action, not in amy nor divorces can accord with this original institution. "In the beginning it was not so;" nor would such things have been practised, but for the sinful lusts of men. And equally unscriptural are constrained celibacy, and needless restraints upon marriage. The records of former times, and impartial observation on the present, evince that it is not generally "good for man to be alone." The mutual inclination of the sexes for each other, (which, however debased by sin, was originally implanted by the Creator,) when regulated by the law of God, and free from other restraints, becomes the foundation of all the relations of life, the source of the most rational of our earthly comforts, and equally beneficial to individuals, families, The covenant of works was holy, and just, and nations: like a river, which, gliding within|| and good; being proposed by a God of perfect its banks, beautifies and enriches the neighbor- holiness, justice, and goodness; and acceded to ing plains. But when unscriptural restraints by Adam, before sin had impaired his powers, are imposed, or when it bursts through the ap- perverted his judgment, or depraved his heart: pointed bounds, it diffuses vice, discord, disease, yet it is contrary to us, who in Adain, and after and misery, with horrible rapidity; like the his example, have violated the terms of it. We same river, obstructed in its natural channel, have, therefore, great reason to be thankful overflowing its banks, inundating and desolat- for another covenant, established upon better ing the fields, and converting the neighboring promises, and ratified by the engagements of a country into a noxious marsh or fen.-Go better Surety. To him let us flee for refuge, 'among the enemies of the gospel, and you shall and from him alone seek deliverance from 'see the woman either reduced to abject slave-shame and pain, from sin and death. And while ry, or basely flattered for the vilest of purposes: we receive all worldly and relative comforts but in Christian families, you see her treated from the hand of our reconciled God; and seek

inactivity.-The reflection likewise, that our bodies were formed from the dust of the earth, may tend to repress the pride of beauty, strength, or agility; to abate our solicitude about them; and to teach us to prepare for the execution of the sentence, "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."

V. 16-25.

Additional favors lay us under additional obligations to grateful obedience: and as our liberal Benefactor indulges us in all things truly good for us; it is highly reasonable that we should give him credit for his wisdom and kindness, even in restraints and prohibitions, and cheerfully deny ourselves at his requirement.

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